Tuesday, March 14, 2006

HCI Grades Efforts, No Word On Actual Results

A few days ago, the Organization Formerly Known As Handgun Control (better known as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership...Gun Violence, excuse me) released their annual state-by-state ratings -- "report cards," if you will -- based on each state's gun laws. My state, the great state of Texas, got a D-minus, and here are just a few of the reasons...

-- No monthly limit on gun sales; i.e, no "one-handgun-a-month" law
-- No bans on "assault weapons," whatever the hell those are...
-- The fact that Texas is a shall-issue state when it comes to concealed-carry permits
-- Texas prohibits its cities from suing the gun manufacturers & distributors
-- No license required to buy a handgun
-- No gun registration requirements

I could go on and on, but, well, you get the general idea. We can buy as many firearms as we damn well please, we can carry them just about anywhere we fancy (if we pass the government's test), we don't hold the gunmakers & distributors responsible for things other people do with guns, and the Texas Department of Public Safety doesn't have a central registry of gun owners, like they do in, say, the crime-free utopia of Illinois (or, more accurately, crime-free utopia known as the People's Republic of Chicago).
The Organization Formerly Known As Handgun Control gave Washington, D.C a B-plus. Now, many of us politically-minded gunnies know this already, but the gun laws in our nation's capital are unbelievably strict. Every firearm must be licensed and registered. Rifles and shotguns are required to be disassembled and locked up when not in use. The possession of a handgun by a D.C. resident is forbidden. The Organanization Formerly Known As Handgun Control, of course, applauds these measures; the only thing they saw wrong with the draconian D.C. gun laws was that they could be repealed by Congress. Now, you'd think that with the strict laws in D.C., and the not-so-strict laws in Texas, D.C. would be the kite-flying utopia Michael Moore portrayed Baghdad as in Fahrenheit 9/11, and Houston would be like Dodge City on the Third Coast, or, if you prefer, (pre-2003) Baghdad on the Bayou.
Well, guess what? In three words, it ain't so. Some figures

Population, July 1, 2004 (according to
Washington, D.C.: 553,523
Houston: 2,012,626

2004 Murders
Washington, D.C.: 198 (
Metropolitan Police Department)
Houston: 272 (
Based on 2004 FBI Crime Reports)

2004 Murder Rate (computed using above figures)
Washington, D.C.: 35.771 per 100,000
Houston: 13.515 per 100,000

So there you go. Washington D.C.'s murder rate is almost three times that of Houston, yet the Organization Formerly Known as Handgun Control is effectively saying that D.C.'s disarmament of its citizens is the way to go. It seems to me that the Organization Formerly Known as Handgun Control is issuing these "grades" to the states solely on the laws themselves, with absolutely no regard for how the laws actually make the citizens safer -- in other words, states make the grade on effort, not results -- "They're tryin'! They're tryin' reeeal haaard! What they're doin' ain't workin' worth a damn, but they're tryin' and that's what really counts!" Anyone over 18 should know that it's results -- not efforts or intentions -- on which our capabilities are ultimately judged. I've long believed that the Bradys and their cohorts live in a fantasy world. And I believe that even more now.